APRIL 30, 1962
WALTHAM, Mass. —Miss Corr and I returned by night plane from San Francisco and arrived Friday morning to find that the "summer" we had left in California was with us in New York. Some people find our variable climate a great trial, but at least we can say it never gives us time to be bored. We are always having to figure out what to wear that will be suitable to the day. We are lucky if we can decide on something that will be right from the time we leave home in the morning to the time we come back in the afternoon!
Now that I think back upon my few days spent in Southern California, I realize that a number of people were really worried as to why it is that Southern California and Texas seem to go in strongly for any kind of strange exaggeration. If a political movement starts there, it is very much to the right or to the left. If it is a religious movement, it is usually fanatical; or if there is an uprising of some kind, it is violent for the short time it may last.
Just now California is going through a period of activity by certain groups who call themselves super patriotic and anti-communist. They demonstrate by picketing speakers they consider to be influential along more moderate lines. What does not seem to penetrate most of these fanatical groups is the realization that, while they call themselves anti-communist, they work for the same objectives as the Communists and use very much the same methods.
At almost every university where I spoke, a few scattered people—sometimes wearing a distinctive costume, such as a red, white and blue hat, but always with placards and slogans—walked up and down outside. In one place, evidently growing a little weary, they threw down their placards and came inside to listen. This seemed to me a very good way of ending the demonstration.
We spent the last day at a most beautiful place called Del Monte Lodge. I should think all our Presidents who play golf would stay long periods of time there, for the golf course looked perfectly delightful and, even if one's game were not so good, one could always enjoy the scene spread out all around. Miss Corr and I kept wondering what part of the world it recalled and we finally decided it looked a little like the Inland Sea in Japan. The grass and the trees, the pebbly beach and the mountains opposite were like Japan. The whole effect was of something intimate and closed in, and for the time that we were there both of us enjoyed immensely looking out of the window.
We landed in New York half an hour late. This meant that I had only a short time in which to get tidied up, catch up with what was going on in my own home, and then pick up the Assistant Secretary of Labor, Mrs. Esther Peterson, before going to the court house in Foley Square for a hearing that Congressman Zelenko was holding on equal pay for equal work. Mrs. Gladys Tillett, our member on the U.N. Status of Women Commission, was also present to give her testimony, for this question is one that affects other countries as well as our own. The dignity of women's equality when they meet in government, professional and industrial work is important the world over, not just in the U. S.
I was through by 20 minutes before 11 and on my way to a Brandeis University committee meeting on education, which is always held before the board meeting later in the afternoon. I came home for a hurried lunch and to say good-bye to Mr. Clark Eichelberger, who was leaving for the meeting in Monrovia, Liberia, of the World Federation of U. N. Associations. Then I returned to the board meeting and some very warm discussions which I thought extremely valuable and interesting.
By 4:40 I was home and quite ready to sleep for an hour and a half before I had the pleasure of having Mrs. Norman bring Mrs. Indira Gandhi to dine here before going to see a play together. What a charming woman Mrs. Gandhi is! Being vitally interested in her country and its policies makes her both knowledgeable and extremely interesting.
I was relieved to find that Tennessee Williams' play, "The Night of the Iguana," beautifully acted as it is, left her—as it did me—a little baffled in trying to figure out what was the message the author meant to give his audience. But at least it left us with much to talk about.
(Copyright, 1962, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced
- [ index ] Waltham (Mass., United States)
About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 30, 1962
Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007
- Brick, Christopher (Editor)
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